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Tonal Dressing - What Is It & Why You Need To Try It

The term "tonal dressing" has been flying around for a while now but what exactly does it mean and why is the most popular form of dressing right now?

Tonal dressing is one of the most simple and achievable ways to look put together, streamlined and effortlessly chic. It may go against our instincts to wear the same colour head to toe but, if done well, it works wonders for the shape and is a great way to look instantly stylish and effortless. The streamlining and visual balance is achieved by the colour running into one long line, rather than being broken up or chopped in half which is what happens when two opposing things meet. Think of tonal dressing as achieving a flawless base - we all know how important a good foundation is. Tonal dressing provides a great, blank frame work to build upon.

Varying tones

The key to tonal dressing is picking a good colour and working with different shades, depths and variations. This can mean wearing navy denim jeans and a slightly lighter wash chambray shirt, off white palazzo pants in a textured linen with a clean white tee or a high waist beige skirt with a deeper neutral crop. Stick with classic, neutral colours, go soft with pastels or be totally out there with red or pink. Keeping your makeup and hair simple is key to this look, with all of the focus being on the outfit with a nod towards simplicity and ease.

The Style Side Tonal Dressing


Linens, distressed denim, metallics, chunky knits and lace work to add dimension and interest without straying from the one colour. Consider a Lame' skirt in silver with a grey t-shirt or a a crisp linen with a soft knit or go hard on a classic shade such as navy, mixing suede, patent and pinstripes.

The Style Side Tonal Dressing


The beauty of tonal dressing is the extent to which you embrace the concept is entirely up to you. This is one thing you can do in small doses without it looking over the top as well as a trend you can wild with. Going all out in one tone is on trend and an instant style update, however, simply embracing this lightly will still work wonders. Wearing head tot to toe black is nothing new but getting creative with the details, such as a statement shoe or detailed choker necklace, give the look an "on purpose" feel.

The Style Side Tonal Dressing

It can take some time to get your head around going against a classic, old style rule but once you give it a go you will be completely converted - it makes dressing simple and and you will start to realise the benefit of investing in a cohesive colour palette with every purchase. It also means you can have the confidence in knowing you are well on trend which is never a bad place to be!

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